Pollen Collector

I managed to get a shot of this hairy colletid bee even though it was very busy dashing from flower to flower, stopping for an instant in each. It looks a bit different to the one I saw last week. There is one of the family that is found only in the South Island of New Zealand, and has orange or yellow hair. This bee has so much pollen clinging to its hairs it is difficult to tell if the hairs are yellow or not. Note the load of pollen on its hairy back legs. To give an idea of size the marigold centre was 13mm across.

This is a solitary bee. She digs a tunnel into the soil and lays a single egg in each of the various chambers. Each egg gets a supply of pollen and nectar and is sealed up to grow and develop into an adult.

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